I remember the first day of preschool for our three children. The nights before were filled with nervousness and excitement that spilled over into their mornings. Their first day of school attire was specifically selected and ready to be worn. Their character backpacks were filled with enough supplies to share with at least five new classmates. We enjoyed a quick breakfast and soon were on our way to school, but not before first-day snapshots. The excitement was unexplainable for our family. I’m sure that most parents can attest to that feeling.
To be honest, I feel this way every year. Now, our children are in high school, and I still experience those feelings of excitement regarding the first day of school.
Unfortunately, all parents do not reflect that similar excitement as their children continue to advance through grade school. By fourth or fifth grade, there seems to be a sudden decline of parental involvement and enthusiasm about their children’s education. That same trend is crippling the success of children in our communities.
I’ve read articles that imply that parents should give teenagers space and not embarrass them by spending time with them. I’m here to tell you that they secretly love when their parents are involved in their lives, including education. It communicates that their parents still care, and that education continues to remain a priority.
An act as simple as posting a grade on the fridge or on Facebook for friends and relatives to see is encouraging for a child. Scheduling a time to eat lunch together is another opportunity to connect with your child. During preschool, parents who ate lunch with their students were considered the “cool parents.” Why not continue that practice into middle and high school, if the school’s policy permits?
Recently, I was able to have lunch with my child in high school, and it was an amazing experience. The students were well behaved and extremely welcoming to me. My son seemed excited to see me, and he actually introduced me to a few of his lunch mates.
As a parent, I sometimes think we tend to believe that our children are growing up and do not require as much attention. Again, I beg to differ. The type of attention that parents provide will change; however, parental support is also essential at the middle and secondary levels.
Parents, let’s start a new trend by making our children’s education a priority from preschool through high school.
Tamara Bogan has 17 professional years in the educational arena. Her career includes middle school teacher, reading specialist, and former high school counselor at Bradwell Institute and Liberty County High School. She is a licensed professional counselor. Bogan recently opened Seat of Resilience Consulting and Counseling in Ludowici. A grand opening is scheduled for Sept. 29, from 9 a.m.-noon. For more information, call 912-545-2570.